The Righteous Shall live by Faith (part 1): Where is God when I don’t get healed?

Recently, I was diagnosed with blood cancer. My close friends rallied around me to pray for healing. Almost always this seems to be the first reaction of the church when someone falls ill, and is a good thing, however, I began to wonder what scripture had to say.

I have never understood healing or God’s heart for healing. I know from scripture that God is a healer but I see good people who are not healed. There was a tension between what I’d read and what I’d seen. Did God want to heal me?

I was given a number of respected books on healing but found them incomplete and frustrating. I got the feeling that the Christian response to healing comes primarily from a desire to be rescued out of difficult circumstance. But could there be a greater reward hidden within our trials of illness?

Additionally, I was very uncomfortable when some authors I read concluded that if you are not healed you lack faith. Interestingly these authors did not go on to explain why a lack of faith was a blockage to healing nor how to overcome this.

Frustrated by my reading I decided to study what scripture says about faith because it appeared to be at the centre of healing. To be honest, I had never studied this topic and wondered how this could be given it is the centerpiece of our relationship with Jesus. What I discovered became a deep gold mine of revelation. Over the next few posts, I would like to share the lessons God is teaching me about trials, healing and faith. 

Lesson 1

The first scripture that struck me in my search was this heavenly mystery found in Romans 1:17: ‘The Righteous shall live by Faith’. Remember a heavenly mystery is not an unknowable secret. It is God’s good pleasure to reveal these to those who would diligently seek Him (Ephesians 3:6). This verse stood out to me but it was still a mystery.

As I read on in Scripture, I discovered that faith is a gift (1 Corinthians 12:9) and a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) suggesting that it is supernatural and therefore from God. Scripture teaches us that the Father gives each individual a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus is the beginning and founder of our faith. He initiates and completes faith in the hearts of people (Romans 10:8-10). He brings faith to maturity and perfection. He creates, sustains and consummates our faith.

From these initial studies I drew a few conclusions:

Firstly, the relationship between faith and healing is deep and multifaceted. It is problematic to say that a person who is not healed does not have enough faith as faith is primarily a gift from God and not something we can obtain by our own efforts or decision alone.

Secondly, while God is the primary giver and perfecter of our faith we do still have a role in building our faith. More on this in the next post.

Finally, I began to see that faith and our growth in faith is about much more than healing alone. To pursue growth in faith for an improvement in earthly circumstances (healing) alone was to miss the full depth, beauty and rich treasure of its present and future reward.

Next in my journey I came upon an excellent book called ‘Faith to Live By’ by Derek Prince. This gem laid out a deep theological description of how faith is grown and its significance. Using this text I could clearly see in Scripture the relationship between faith, illness and healing. Four themes were covered in the book which I will explore in my next post.

  1. The spoken Word of God is healing to the flesh.
  2. Confessing the spoken Word builds faith to release healing.
  3. Faith must be worked out.
  4. Faith must be tested.

Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratcliffe

SUGGESTED READING LIST:

  1. Faith to Live by                         Derek Prince
  2. The Power of Faith                  Derek Prince (updated version of reference 1)

1 thought on “The Righteous Shall live by Faith (part 1): Where is God when I don’t get healed?”

  1. It is always interesting and stimulating to read your posts John and of course the particular Romans verse is the one that Luther found (the actual version of the verse was in Habakkuk 2:4) and this was the key verse that lead to the Reformation. I think that the most important point is that very few in the church today believe that God can heal. One of the most amazing Christian men of the last 100 years was John G Lake who had a ministry based in Spokane, Washington State. He was involved in thousands of healings and his ministry centre still exists. A man called Curry Blake now heads it up and a friend send me a talk he gave which is worthwhile listening to. Here is the link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGPtI80jRmI

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